An Interview with a Kohler Design ExpertBy Berit Griffin, Marvin Windows
If you have ever owned a toilet, sink, tub or shower (and we know you have!), you have probably heard of Kohler. The Wisconsin-based company is well-known for making some of the finest kitchen and bath products in the world. And they go beyond the basics. With Kohler, a sink isn’t just a sink–it’s a unique design piece for your kitchen and bathroom. And if you’re thinking that the toilet is a necessary but humble appliance, just take a look at what Kohler has done with the commode. If you’re looking for ways to save some serious water or just not have to touch the flusher, Kohler has a solution for you.
Eric Moore, Interior Designer at the Kohler Design Center was kind enough to give us his perspective on some trends and what’s new and noteworthy.
Q: Like windows, things like toilets, sinks, showers, etc. are pretty necessary for the home. But the details, quality and craftsmanship are what make people want to invest in them. How has Kohler differentiated itself in the marketplace?
A: Kohler’s main focus is being on the leading-edge of design and technology while also providing a single level of quality, regardless of price. We listen to our consumers and bring to market products that go above and beyond their expectations. We have a commitment to our guiding principles, and this leads to innovations such as our new digital showering system DTV +, our tailored vanity collection, Artifacts bathroom and kitchen faucet collection, Sensate touchless kitchen faucet, and our toilet offering including a range of intelligent toilets.
Q: You’re an American-made manufacturer—can you talk about why this is important to you?
A: Kohler Co. was founded in 1873, and our headquarters is still located where we started in Kohler, Wisconsin, where we also manufacture a variety of products (we also have facilities in other parts of the US). At the same time we are a global organization with over 50 manufacturing locations around the world, and we are committed to giving back to all the communities where we operate our business.
Q: What are some kitchen trends you’ve been seeing? How about bath?
A: Kitchen trends are pointing towards touchless, pulldown single control faucets, and faucet innovations with functionality and different spray patterns to meet consumers lifestyles. This includes things like our Sensate touchless faucet with Response technology, which provides reliable, touchless on/off operation. As for innovations within the faucets, our new Sweep spray is a powerful spray for cleaning, and our BerrySoft spray is specifically designed to wash fruits and vegetables. Our pulldown faucets feature DockNetic magnetic docking station to keep sprayheads secure and in place.
The trends we are seeing the most of in bathrooms are freestanding tubs, shower experiences, and clean, functional toilets. Kohler has really focused on these three trends over the past year. The freestanding tub products have expanded to different styles, sizes, and shapes- check out our Stargaze, Sunstruck, Underscore, and Archer tubs. When it comes to showers, consumers want them to provide multi-sensory experiences. The DTV+ shower is Kohler’s most advanced showering system and really brings the spa into your home with built-in hydrotherapy experiences inspired by our own Kohler WatersSpa. Kohler has long been a leader in the toilet market and has made many innovations over the years. We are focusing on functionality and innovative features like touchless toilets, intelligent toilets with integrated bidet functionality and toilet seats with surprising built-in features like night lights or deodorizers.
Q: Many homeowners are very interested in energy efficient and sustainable products. How are you answering this need?
A: Kohler has been focused on water-efficient and sustainable products for years. We have pushed the envelope on all of our product categories to fall in line with the EPA WaterSense standards. We have an extensive portfolio of products with water-saving features like our bathroom and kitchen faucets that are all equipped with aerators, our water-saving showerheads, and our high-efficiency toilets. We want to provide the right products that allow homeowners to save a significant amount of water, and in this way help preserve the environment. Kohler Co. has been recognized for its commitment to advancing the WaterSense mission and has received six consecutive EPA WaterSense awards.
Q: Are there any new products you are especially excited about? Why are they exciting?
A: There are several new products from Kohler that I am really excited about including the Prolific stainless steel kitchen sink, the San Souci toilet, Derring Artist Editions bathroom sink, and the Honesty single control faucet.
The Prolific has three graduated ledges in the basin that allow the user to place accessories at a preferred height.
The San Souci toilet is a beautiful simple low profile toilet with sleek curves and an easy to clean concealed trapway.
The Derring design is stunning with its carved textural pattern and natural glaze variations making each sink unique.
The Honesty single control faucet is a design of clean and square lines perfect for the easy to clean bathroom atmosphere.
At Kohler there is never a shortage of exciting new products!
Thanks Eric! We love to see another American-made manufacturer with a deep commitment both to community and to high quality home products.